Flutningur á gæludýrum

We focus on animals' safety and welfare

Icelandair Cargo provides safe and quick animal transport services to most direct Icelandair destinations. When shipping live animals, it is important to book flights well in advance, and ensure that you have all the necessary documents in compliance with all IATA regulations.

Booking and Routing

You will need to provide the following information for the booking:

  • Name, age, type and breed of the animal
  • Combined weight of the animal and of the container
  • Outside measurements of the container (length x width x height)
  • The name, phone number, e-mail, address and social security number of the shipper and the consignee
  • Name and phone number of the person delivering the animal at the airport before departure

Other important points to consider:

  • Icelandair Cargo does not carry cats or dogs that are younger than 8 weeks of age. However, the import and vaccination regulations in place in other countries may require an older age.
  • Depending on the time of travel and schedules, an animal being shipped abroad may spend the night at the intermediate airport, incurring additional costs for the shipper (for example, the cost of an overnight layover at the London Animal Reception Centre, ARC, may be several hundred pounds).
  • The shipper must provide feeding instructions for an animal that has an overnight layover, and ensure that the food provided complies with the regulations in place in the transit country.
  • Space must be booked in advance for live animals, but no sooner than 20 days before the flight. When more than one airline will carry the animal, it will not be accepted for transport until all parties have confirmed their flights.

To make the booking, please contact Sales/Reservations in the country that you’re are shipping the animal from or a freight forwarder in your country that handles animals at the location from which you want to transport your animal.

Before the Flight

The requirements for containers vary according to the type of animal being shipped. The animal is made familiar with the container well in advance. A blanket or other familiar article in the container also helps calm the animal. It is not recommended to feed the animal immediately before the flight as flying may cause nausea. Remove the animal’s collar for the duration of transport. Icelandair Cargo does not rent, lend or sell animal containers. The shipper is responsible for purchasing a suitable animal container approved for air transport.

Guidelines that pertain to transportation of live animals

  • Obtain the necessary documents for the animal (health certificates, vaccination information and import licenses).
  • The cage needs to provide sufficient ventilation.
  • The animal must be able to stand in the cage and be easily able to turn as necessary.
  • The animal must have access to drinking water inside the cage and it must be possible to add water without having to open the cage.
  • A food container needs to be either inside the cage or on the outside so feeding the animal, in case of delays, is made swift and easy.
  • The cage needs to be labelled with the name, address and telephone number of the consignee, and the AWB number must be clearly visible as well.
  • Notify the carrier of any medication (for example if the animal has been sedated).

Requirements for cat and dog containers:

  • The container must allow the animal to stand and sit with head and ears erect, and not touching the top of the container.
  •  hundaskyring
  • The animal must be able to turn about normally while standing, and lie in a comfortable, natural position with paws extended.
  • The container can be made of rigid plastics, metal or wood (Note: Many countries do not accept containers that are made of untreated wood).
  • Rigid plastic containers are suitable for animals weighing no more than 40 kg (88 lbs.)
  • Folding metal show crates cannot be used for transport.
  • Puppies or kittens that are no more than 6 months of age and of the same litter (max. 3 puppies/kittens) may be transported in the same container.
  • Two adult animals that are familiar with each other may be transported in one container, provided that the weight of each animal is less than 14 kg (31 lbs.)

A= length of animal from nose to root of tail B = height from ground to elbow joint C = width across shoulders D = height of animal in standing position (top of head for pets with non-erect ears - from tip of ears for pets with erect ears)

The length of the kennel must be equal to A + 1/2 B. The width of the kennel must be equal to Cx2 The height of the kennel (top flat or arched) must be equal to D.

Cargo or Baggage

If you are travelling as a passenger on an Icelandair flight, you can book your pet as excess baggage. The combined weight of a pet and its kennel may not exceed 40 kg (88 lbs). Maximum kennel dimensions are 92x56x71 cm. This kind of transport needs to be booked specifically with Icelandair along with the flight ticket. Heavier pets and unaccompanied animals always need to be booked specifically as cargo with Icelandair Cargo. More information about travelling with pets as excess baggage can be found here.

  • Unaccompanied animals are always shipped as cargo.
  • A booking is made in advance with the carrier for animals shipped as cargo.
  • The animal is delivered to the cargo terminal office of the departure airport and collected at the cargo handling terminal of the destination airport.
  • The animal must be able to stand in the cage and be easily able to turn as necessary.
  • Some countries, such as the UK, require that animals are always shipped as cargo.
  • The animal is delivered to the cargo terminal office of the departure airport
  • After landing, animal is collected at the cargo handling terminal of the destination airport

AVI Regulations

Vaccination and documentation requirements

The shipper is responsible for ensuring that the pet has all the required vaccinations and documents. The requirements vary depending on the destination country and type of animal. Customers that plan to transport live animals are advised to check all animal import requirements in the destination country. Each destination country may also have additional regulations and agreements in place. For more information on export and import regulations, please contact the national agricultural authorities or the nearest embassy or consulate of the destination country. Please see the links below for the relevant websites:


The agent that handles the transportation for the shipper always prices air freight at the departure location. This could be the airline or a freight forwarder at the location where the animal is being transported. Air freight is always paid at the departure airport. The charge is based on the weight of the consignment (including the weight of the container) or so-called volume weight, which is calculated using the outside measurements of the container. The consignee that collects the animal will pay any terminal-specific charges that apply at the destination airport. For more information on terminal charges, please contact the handling agent at the destination airport.

Custom Clearance

If the animal is intended for sale, Icelandair Cargo offers customs clearance services in our office in Keflavik. An invoice will have to travel with the shipment. If the animal is only being transported to its owner, a formal written statement needs to accompany the shipment.For more information, please contact our Custom Clearance.

At the Airport

At the cargo terminal area

  • Pets must be kept on a leash and under control in the terminal area.
  • Pets cannot be taken outside to exercise in the terminal area.
  • If an animal accepted for transport must be taken out of the container, the shipper must be present and ensure that the animal is kept on a leash.
  • The personnel of Terminal Operations only handle animals inside an appropriate container.

Acceptance for transport

Only healthy animals can be accepted for transport by the airline. Please note the following in particular:

  • The booking and routing of the consignment must have been confirmed
  • You must have the necessary documents for international transport
  • The container must comply with requirements

Sedating animals

IATA discourages the use of sedatives and tranquilizers in animals during transport. Animals administered such drugs cannot react to their environment as they normally would, and may become aggressive or hurt themselves. Sedated animals cannot control their movements or position in the container. Tranquilizers and sedatives also often cause nausea.

If the owner, under the direction of a veterinarian, wants to sedate a very sensitive animal for the duration of transport, the container and transport documents must contain the following information:

  • Name of the medicine
  • Time and method of dosage
  • Dosage level
  • Estimated time of effect

At the Destination Airport

Consignee’s responsibilities

The consignee’s contact details, provided by the shipper during booking, are delivered to the staff at the destination airport. A member of the airline will contact the consignee and inform them where, when and how the consignee can collect the animal.

Charges payable by the consignee

The air freight charge is always paid at the departure airport. The consignee that collects the animal will pay any terminal-specific charges that apply at the destination airport. For more information on terminal charges, please contact the handling agent at the destination airport.

For more information, please contact our Sales/Reservations

Carrier’s liability

Live Animals Regulations chapter 1.3.8. issued by IATA